Over 25pc of European internet users eco-shop

12 Dec 2007

European online purchasing decisions are increasingly being influenced by environmental considerations, a new report reveals, with a quarter of European internet users basing their online shopping decisions on the store’s green initiatives.

The report by Jupiter found that these shoppers decide what to buy based on the retailer’s green policies or are willing to pay higher price for green products.

Danish and Dutch consumers are the greenest European consumers with strongest willingness to pay for green products and the strongest interest in companies’ green policies, whilst consumers in Ireland, the UK and Germany display the weakest green attitudes and behaviour.

Internet users in Denmark are more than three times as likely as are those in the UK to be willing to pay more for green products.

However, the key challenge for European retailers and travel companies is not developing extensive green product portfolios but rather addressing the more mass-market need for strong, well-positioned and communicated green policies.

Jupiter further advises that retailers must both promote green corporate policies and offer green product choices, and must promote their green products and programmes both online and offline, or else miss out on key opportunities.

“Despite overwhelming media and government attention to green issues in the UK and Germany, our surveys show that consumers in smaller European countries like Denmark and the Netherlands exhibit much more concern for environmental issues,” said Dorothee Vogel, European Commerce Analyst at JupiterResearch and lead author of the report.

“However, overall suppliers’ efforts online don’t correlate with consumers’ attitudes in Europe and clearer sustainability communication will have the greatest short-term impact on green shopping adoption.”

“Media and consumer focus on environmental issues in Europe offers retailers an outstanding opportunity to both attract new customers and to upsell existing customers to environmentally sound products and services,” said David Schatsky, president of JupiterResearch.

“However, the space for early movers to differentiate themselves through green positioning will become crowded soon. Consequently, retailers and travel vendors must move quickly to both promote their green corporate policies and introduce green product offerings,” Schatsky said.

By John Kennedy